xbred and lynnmcmahan
Yes I seed ryegrass some crimson clover in the Fall.
Here is what works for me to feed my herd during the dormant months of Winter. In Sept I start stockpiling fescue which is my base feed. We usually get some rain off the hurricanes that come up the coast and that moisture along with the heat of Summer starting to subside permits the fescue to begin coming out of dormancy. Part of the farm is devoted to feeding the herd and and the remainder of the pasture is set aside for Winter stockpiled feed. Since going with the Fall seeded ryegrass I have decreased the amount of set aside acreage for fescue stockpiling. At this time I plan on feeding stockpiled fescue for approximately 60 to 75 days. Rotational grazing not only allowed me to increase the herd size it permitted me to graze into Jan. July and Aug are also trying months here as it can get dry. I stockpile Spring growth fescue to carry me thru these 2 months. I do not make hay and I have sold the equipment. From Spring green up, I feed ryegrass and emerging fescue and clover, during Summer, I feed fescue, clover, crabgrass and stockpiled fescue, come Fall, fescue and clover are the mainstay, Winters are usually mild and growing fescue and clover will provide for the herd until a hard freeze hits around mid Jan then the herd depends of the stockpiled fescue to carry them through until Mar and the cycles starts over. I want the herd going into Winter with a body condition score of 5 and often a heifer with calve may drop a little condition but I know she will make it up come Spring with compensatory gain. It takes a hardy cow to repetitively go through the scheme of things here but I have a number of cattle that have lasted many years with me and are in good shape to go many more. I want a cow that is frame score 4 or less, one that gives moderate milk and matures at around 1050 to 1100 lbs. She has to produce a calf each year and I prefer her to do it on a 11 month cycle. I calve yearround and only in an emergency do I give assistance. I refuse to be a midwife to a cow, problem calving animals are culled, no exception. My feeder calves typically sell in the upper 10 percent of the calves sold where I market mine. I take pride in being a low cost producer. I enjoy doing what I do but I do it to make a profit also.